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getting grass to grow in chicken run?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Debs55, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. Debs55

    Debs55 Songster

    Any suggestions? my chickens have pecked the ground to bare hard dirt in all 3 of my pens. I wish I could free range but we have way too many predator. What should I buy and how should I go about planting it so that the chickens won't kill it before it grows? could I fence it in? should I till up the dirt first?

    Thanks
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

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    I have 9 birds in a 70' x 70' yard. They keep the grass chopped short. A bunch of weeds grow n there that they don't eat, so we mow them, but there is a fair amount of grass as well, that never gets a chance to grow very tall. If the area were smaller, I figure they would pull it out by the roots and kill it, the was they do in standard runs.

    One thing you can do is grow it in flat boxes with wire over the top, a few inches from the soil. They can clip the grass without killing all the plants that way. I know people have a few of these and rotate them out of the run so they have time to recover. If your mower snips the grass short, you can give them some of the clippings, but do limit the quantity as too much of that can cause crop problems.
     
  3. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

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    I have seen pictures on here in the past where people have planted grass in raised beds that then put wire over the top. The chickens then eat the grass that comes through the chicken wire, but cannot scratch it up at the roots.

    Edit: I see that Judy beat me to the answer! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  4. JaceAgain

    JaceAgain Songster

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  5. Debs55

    Debs55 Songster

    I tried a grazing frame one time and the grass kept matting up when it grew as tall as the white so it wouldn't come through. maybe I will have to try again
     
  6. danahud

    danahud Chirping

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    I have the same issue with my chickens. I most recently got some free pallets and planted a bunch of wheat seeds and herbs in them. Hopefully the chickies will have something good to eat in their run soon. We got some bamboo poles and bird netting from walmart to make a little fence around it until the plants could get established. MY chickens just stare through the fence longing to get at everything right now.
    Aslo im growing fodder for them out of the wheat. It is a very simple process. You can find many informative threads on here about it. :) Good Luck!
     
  7. Debs55

    Debs55 Songster

    I tried the fodder but kept forgetting to rinse it so it got smelly lol. I think I may put some fence up in the corners of the run and try to grow grass in there and then let them have limited access to it
     
  8. bvdave

    bvdave Hatching

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    I would suggest trying eco lawn. you will need to grow it before letting the chickens in, but I have been using it on my front lawn, and the nice thing about this grass is its roots are 9-12 inches deep. its supposed to help make it drought resistant, but I assume it would also make it harder for chickens to kill if they need to dig so deep to destroy it... again, only catrch is it needs to be grown before the chickens can have at it. and its a bit pricy.
     
  9. Debs55

    Debs55 Songster

    Sounds really good but I'm going for cheap and easy
     
  10. Has anyone tried native perennial bunchgrasses versus sod forming domestic grasses?
     

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